the sew weekly “1940s”: the “field of poppies” dress

The Facts:

Fabric: liberty of london tana lawn “phoebe”
Pattern: self drafted, inspired by simplicity 1975
Year: 1940s
Notions: zipper
Time to Complete: 6 hours including drafting
First Worn: May 25, 2012
Wear Again: not until i fix it properly
Total Price: ~$45
Challenge Theme:  “1940s”

i was very excited to take this challenge as an opportunity to play with an idea i had long coveted:  copying simplicity 1975 by drafting the bodice myself, from scratch.  see, i never purchased the pattern because the sizing is so off i’d have ended up re-drafting the thing anyway to get it to fit properly, and i wanted to learn how to draft a strapless bodice that might actually fit me.

it took me two tries, because i misunderstood some measurements in my pattern drafting book, but my trustly sloper did not steer me wrong and i ended up with a very serviceable strapless bodice with princess stylines.  step one completed!

skirt salvaged from ill-fitting vogue 2961

then i had to disassemble a much-loved but little-used garment, my vogue 2960.  it was one of my early garment attempts, and while it was actually pretty f-ing awesome for a girl who had only been sewing a few months, that girl, now with almost 3 years’ experience, cringed every time she put it on and it sagged in all the wrong places.  i saved the skirt (mostly out of laziness and fabric stinginess) and constructed my bodice, including a boning underlayer and bra cups (construction details here).

it still needs tweaking, because in order to finish it this week i had to take a few shortcuts that need to be fixed in order for this dress to have the glory it deserves.  firstly, because i purposely constructed the bodice with more torso than i should have, i need to tweak the fit near the waist.  you may be able to see in the photo that there is a lot of blousing where the bodice meets the skirt, and that is because i need to shorten the torso of the bodice so that it matches the width of the skirt more accurately.  i did it this way because otherwise, i was afraid the waist would be too short.  according to my moulage, i am absurdly short-waisted, but i’m still in denial about this, so i figured i’d rather have more torso than not enough.

also, because i can only go to the buttonholer on saturdays, i closed this (temporarily) with a CF zip, which is throwing off the perfect fit under my arms and just at my bust.  the bodice was drafted to accommodate the overlap of a button placket, not a zip.

all in all, i’m quite thrilled with the final result, because now i have a wonderful strapless sloper to work with!  i already have two more tops rarin’ to go and plans to fix a long-stranded UFO that i accidentally fit too small. (two inches at the CB!  how does that even happen?!)

i call this dress the “field of poppies” dress because the fabric reminds me of a spring day in israel two years ago during the passover/easter celebrations. from what i was told, there is a very brief period in the spring where the temperature is moderate enough for the flower fields to just explode with color. we happened to be there on one of those days and spent a rapturous hour running through a field…next to a gas station. random, right? (photos courtesy of my uncle)

This entry was posted in Finished Objects, Vintage and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to the sew weekly “1940s”: the “field of poppies” dress

  1. Those poppies are absolutely lovely. And I totally know what you mean about gorgeous fields across the street from gas stations! I had the same wth feeling when I saw them in Israel.

    I agree with all that you said about the length of the waist and all, but can I just give you major props for remaking an old me-made? I haven’t the courage/patience to do so yet, so those dresses just sit in my closet…

  2. Tanit-Isis says:

    Oh, the joys of bodice fitting! (and torso length). This is a totally cute pattern, way to go drafting to match it. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when the final tweaks are done! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s